We found a PI this week. She's a bartender. She told us she would like to meet again but didn't have time this week. Hamilton shimai and I found her nearby the Matsuyama park. We had just finished talking to someone else who didn't have a lot of interest. And while we're walking down we see this girl waiting for the light to turn green. She had an awesome cheetah print scarf so I complimented her on it and start talking and we find out about her job and that she actually doesn't like to drink. Cool. We can start with that ;)
However, funny thing is that while we were going through records this week, her name matched with a less active name. Not sure if the same person. But the ages seem to be the same. Going to confirm if it is the same or not. But that would be so cool :)
Then this weekend was interviews and our chihoubu taikai. Chihoubu taikai is just like stake conference but on a branch level. So all together there were about 120-150 people. I was like "holy cow this is a lot of people" But then I thought about how back home there are about 300 people who come to church every week and I slightly peed my pants. However, it gave me a vision as to what I want Matsuyama to become. I want that branch to use every single chair in that building for church. We'll get there.
Then we did interviews differently this time. Welch kaicho just had people come at certain appointed times during the day. Had the interview and then have people go about and dendo. Except with Matsuyama, traveling is the most difficult in the entire mission. It's an average of about 2 1\2 hours to get to different areas in the zone such as: Nihama, Kouchi, and Uwajima. Imabari is only an hour away. Anyway, the idea is to save time, except with Matsuayama you'll spend the whole day traveling anyway. But mah, we're the only zone in the whole mission to have this issue... yeah... Then during saturday the imabari shimai came to our apartment and just studied and prepared for investigators and did weekly planning, while Hamilton shimai and I stressed over records and making sure all that the less actives have been visited. We have about 120 left to visit but we have 63 missing papers. Don't worry about it.. we're working on it.
Then that afternoon we got to watch the Relief Society Broadcast. So all of the shimai of the entire zone were there and Welch shimai. There was a room for Japanese but no english. So we all squished into the computer room and watched it there. Really enjoyed the korean children singing. You could tell that the 12 year olds were bored out of their minds and that the 3 year olds were so excited to be there. But really cute! The dresses they were wearing look like a more relaxed form of a kimono. You can breath in those. Kimono's are a lot more taihen. You have to wear an obo that prevents you from breathing and having a body shape. Anyway! Back to dendo...
So we had a great big sleep over at the Matsuyama shimai apartment. There were 6 of us with 4 futons. We snuggled and luckily there was a breeze that evening that kept us cool with fresh air. Hamilton shimai was kind enough to make beef stew for everyone and french toast the next morning. She's the best.
At the chihoubu taikai, one of the speakers was the previous okayama mission president. Back when there was an okayama mission. On Saturday night he gave a presentation on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He came to the floor and had a power point presentation. He opened the congregation up to discussion and it seemed to be more open and more of a discussion rather than a speech. Which was nice. I like those more than talks. We read together Alma 7:11-16 and discussed the meaning. How Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. How He suffered our pains, weaknesses, infirmities and sins all for the sake that we may return to our loving Heavenly Father. I know I am definitely imperfect. But I trust that through the Savior's Atonement that there is no wound he cannot heal. No dark to bring to light. Nothing is too hard for our Savior. I will be forever grateful for his sacrifice so that my family and I can have eternal joy and life. All He asks us to do is follow Him. Which I will do with all my heart. I have only found healing, joy, forgiveness, improvement, and peace in this gospel. I know it is true with every fiber of my being.
My interview with Kaicho was good. We talked about how he's going to change when returning missionaries go home during the week and how I will still probably get out on the 2nd since my family is coming. I just probably won't be with the whole group. Which is fine. Not a big deal. And it's nothing permanent yet. However there will be 30 leaving with my doki in order to return to school. Yikes.
I asked him why Hamilton shimai and I were together for 4 transfers, because I only know of 2 other companionships to do so: Deklirk shimai and strong shimai and then Lofthouse shimai and Hayashi shimai. So I feel somewhat honored. And grateful to work with someone whom I will be friends with forever. We will send each other New Year Newsletters ;) But he told me that he doesn't see a need to transfer people if they love their area and their companion. Makes sense. This mission may see more shimai together for longer. He said that he only transfers people if they don't get along. I also found out that the mission is going to lose half of it's shimai. I hope that Matsuyama is not going to be closed for shimai. I asked him not to.
Also, today Hamilton shimai and I went shopping. We always walk through the shotengai to talk with people but never able to actually go in the shops. So we did that today. However, there was some sort of Bhuddist parade going on in the shotengai. There were a bunch of families and adults and kids were carrying something that looked like kamisamano ie. But I don't know. I tried to ask someone but they didn't know either :P.
That's about it for the week. Thank you so much for your love and support. Time is going by fast. I cannot believe it. I have loved my mission and so grateful for the experiences I've had. They have made me a better, happier person.
Love always, Bevan Shimai
P.S I may be writing next week on Tuesday. Still waiting for permission but we have 2 lessons next week on Monday. With traveling included that would be from 1-6 pm of traveling and teaching. So Hamilton shimai and I were thinking of just switching our preparation day to tuesday to make it less stressful on us. But... we have to get permission first. I don't know if we'll receive word or not before 6.
|Hamilton Shimai getting ready to enter The WORLD|
|Matsuyama Matsuri or festival with a parade in front of the shotengai - street shops|
|Here comes the dragon!|
|Japanese children carrying the mikoshi (portable shrine)|
|Children sitting atop a mikoshi lighted with lanterns at each corner|